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January 16, 2024

Valio’s factory in Haapavesi transfers to electricity-based heat production with Adven’s electric boiler implementation

BrandPhoto Valio Haapavesi PREMIUM 7051. Haapavesi

The use of electric boilers in industrial energy production has grown in popularity along with companies' climate programs, energy efficiency goals and fluctuating electricity markets. This opportunity was also seized at Valio's Haapavesi factory. With the new long-term agreement, energy company Adven implements and will in the future be responsible for the annual energy production of more than 50 GWh for the needs of the Haapavesi factory with a modern electric boiler solution.

Haapavesi factory in Central Finland is the home of Valio Oltermanni® cheeses. At Haapavesi c. 200 million liters of raw milk a year is processed into award winning cheeses and milk powder for domestic use and export needs.

Valio’s goal is to reset milk’s carbon footprint to net zero by 2035. In terms of energy production, this means improving energy efficiency, phasing out fossil fuels and utilizing energy produced by heat pumps and electric boilers.

– Securing the availability of thermal energy was a key criterion when we started thinking about the future of Haapavesi factory’s energy implementation, says Energy Manager Peter Fabritius from Valio.

– The current backup energy plant utilizing light fuel oil will continue alongside the future electric boiler plant, enabling flexible energy production between two different options when the availability and the price of electricity fluctuates. This way the boiler also contributes to maintaining the stability of the electricity network. Adven offered a modern solution in which precise optimization ensures the availability of energy in every situation.

Process steam production will be electrified in 2026

Adven offered Valio a modern electric steam boiler solution and energy production to replace the current biomass and peat-based production.  The new technical implementation covers a 12 MW electric steam boiler with connections. This is Adven’s second electric boiler implementation for Valio.

– The challenges of industrial energy production are being solved fiercely nowadays. Pursuit for zero emissions, increasing the efficiency of energy production and as in Valio’s case, securing energy availability are key decision-making criteria, says Sales Manager Arto Liikanen from Adven.

– For them we proposed a completely new solution instead of a traditional biomass steam plant. Shared ambition was soon found.

Today, the heat used at Valio’s Haapavesi plant is mostly produced in a solid fuel-based energy plant.

In the future, heat will mainly be produced by an electric boiler, which does not emit carbon dioxide.

Adven to be responsible for the total energy production in Haapavesi

Valio and Adven are long-term partners, and Adven produces energy as a service for eight of Valio’s factories in Finland. At Haapavesi too, versatile cooperation has lasted for more 30 years, and most recently Adven has been responsible for the factory’s backup energy production.

With the new contract, Adven will in the future be responsible for the factory’s total energy production with the energy-as-a-service model, which covers the design of the new electric boiler plant and network, project management and financing, and once completed, also plant operation and energy production.

Backup energy production also remains Adven’s responsibility.

The project started in December 2023 and the commissioning is planned to start in March 2026.

Key facts

  • A high voltage 12MW electric steam boiler plant which annually produces 50 GWh of energy for the production needs of Valio’s Haapavesi factory.
  • Energy produced with an electric boiler does not emit carbon dioxide.
  • A new electric boiler energy site will be commissioned in March 2026.
  • Valio Haapavesi factory processes 200 million liters of raw milk delivered from c. 500 dairy farms.
  • Process steam is used in various heating phases along the production, drying of milk and whey powder and in cheese production in cheese kettles.
  • Haapavesi factory produces 29 million kilos of cheese and milk powder, and the factory directly employs c. 125 and indirectly thousands of employees.
  • The project has been granted NextGeneration EU funding from the European Union.